An emotive subject today but without doubt it played an important part in the economic life of the village in former years. At first, in the 1730s, hunting was a local activity with horses and hounds having to be hacked to the meet and back at the end of the day. The advent of the railways allowed wealthy business men to spend the weekend in hunting country, travelling by "express train" and staying in local hotels. Soon the "Hunting Lease" became the norm, enabling wealthy people to take a lease on a house and stabling from September to March. Although personal servants, stud grooms and coachmen were usually brought from the "town house", there was plenty of opportunity for casual employment for village people. Local tradespeople also benefited - farriers, feed merchants, grocers etc. The two properties in Langham normally let on hunting leases were Langham House and the Old Hall. There is more on this subject in "Langham in the Past" by Don Mantle. Cottesmore Hunt In 1732 Thomas Noel started a pack of hounds at Exton. Sir William Lowther, later the 1st Earl of Lonsdale bought the Exton pack on the death of Thomas Noel in 1788 and built kennels at Cottesmore House - thus was founded the Cottesmore Hunt. The Cottesmore Hunt has had several homes, with kennels at Stocken Hall, Normanton Park, Little Bytham and Barleythorpe. The kennels between Ashwell and Oakham were built in the 1880s to hold a hundred couples of hounds with stabling for fifty horses and accommodation for the huntsmen, whips and stud groom. The cost was £11,500. The hunt has moved on again with this accommodation converted into housing for the local population.
Langham Village History Group ~ © 1996 - 2021
Langham Village History Group
Fox Hunting